Best Practices for Fostering Employee Accountability

May 16, 2024

This month, our Round Tables focused on “Best Practices for Fostering Employee Accountability.” One recurring theme has been the importance of clear and concise communication of expectations, along with the necessity for ongoing communication with all employees to prevent issues altogether. While each Round Table discussion varies, below are some key points that emerged from a few of our sessions.

Know your Employee’s Work Zone
Each employee has a work zone.  A magic zone where they thrive.  If their responsibilities require them to perform above their work zone, they are under pressure and will not thrive.  Understand that some ceilings can be overcome with training and mentorship, but your employees’ abilities may be limited.

If your employee’s responsibilities are under their ideal work zone, they will be underutilized and unfulfilled.

You must know your employee’s work zone, ceiling, and floor.  Through constant communication, you can know what that is.  The most important thing in leadership is the communication and expectations process.

Performance Improvement Plans (PIP): 

  1. They do not work if intended to overwhelm employees with goals that are not achievable in a month.
  2. Before implementing a PIP, make sure you understand why an employee is on one. Are they facing serious issues at home that you’re not aware of?  Not all employees will openly discuss their challenges, and they might just need support.
  3. Each role must have measurables.
  4. Employers should consistently engage in conversations with employees to ensure clarity on their standing and expectations. PIP plans become necessary when ongoing conversations with employees haven’t been happening.
  5. Could the problem be you? Sometimes we may need to look in the mirror.  It could be we are not communicating well.

Work from home
One business leader’s staff all work from home in another state.  He offers this advice:

  1. Require that each employee have a workplace in their home set apart from their living space.
  2. Additionally, to avoid burnout, make sure they set work aside to live their lives.
  3. Discuss strategies with employees to ensure they are mentally and emotionally prepared for each workday.
  4. Set measurables in place, then you both know if they are living up to those standards.

Leadership + Management = Accountability

  1. Leadership is about communicating the needs of the company. This is what we need from you.
  2. Management is setting clear expectations for their role and responsibilities.
  3. Accountability is not something you do. The minute you feel like you need to hold someone accountable, you have made a hiring mistake.

The Right People in the Right Seat
The right people should align with your core values and contribute positively to the working environment. The right seat means they are good at their job.  If they don’t fit these two criteria, you need to make a change.

Motivate Employees
One business leader makes his money 100% on commission.  He pays his employees a fair hourly wage, plus commission. Recently, the office manager approached him with research and discovered that her salary was on the lower end of the range for her position.  The business leader sat down with this individual and they came up with a plan, if the company hit certain revenue goals, she would get a proportional share at the end of the year.  Now she has a serious incentive to bring in more money.

Bonus incentives work to motivate people as they participate in the profits. People like money.

Leadership is About Love (agape love)
Leaders must truly love their people.  Understand that sometimes the best thing may be for them to work elsewhere, and that is okay.

Generational Differences?
God has not changed how he creates people.  We all need respect and a safe environment, and we all want to impact the world.